In January, at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, Foreign Minister Marise Payne enunciated her government’s pitch to develop closer relations with India. Her speech was an attempt to reassure India and the broader region of Australia’s commitment to maintaining a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific. This has important implications for the future of the regional security architecture, especially for groups such as the revived Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad).
Although the Quad’s future, as Jeff Smith argues, will ultimately depend on China’s actions and the threat perceptions of Australia and India, at the moment both are keen to focus on strengthening the bilateral relationship and extending minilateral and multilateral cooperation through other channels. This works well for both nations as they try to manage relations with China in the lead-up to their general elections.
Geopolitically speaking, there were four broad takeaways from the minister’s speech:
- The Indian Ocean is central in Australia’s strategic imagination.
- Canberra has a ‘long-term’ commitment to deepening engagement with India.
- Australia envisions a role for India in the Pacific.
- The Quad isn’t the Indo-Pacific.
Please click here to read the full “Australia’s Indo-Pacific pitch: What’s in it for the Quad?” article at The Strategist, written by Griffith Asia Insititute Research Assistant, Aakriti Bachhawat.